News and Events

Keep up to date with the latest news and events of Modular Bikes.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

South of the Murray Audax 100

Simon, Ian, Peter, Cobram pub

3 Gents and their bikes, Cobram Colonial Motel

Richard who rode with me on the Murray tour with and ride organiser Rodney at the start

Rodney announces the ride instructions

3 Amigos, Peter, Ian, Simon, coming in to Katunga and...

in Katunga.

Curious cows outside Katunga where I stopped to fix a puncture.

A stop for food and to peel off clothing where I..

picked up the sign on left which had been lying in the field.

This was a nice stretch, a bit of sun, tailwind and the tyre was holding up.

Nice roadside display.

End of the Paddy melon season, these were just rotting by the side of the road. They were fresher but still useless on the Murray tour.

Done!  Peter Matthews arrived a few minutes after me and signed my Brevet card.

The white trike sidepanel is "My impressions of the South of the Murray Audax ride", by Fred Bike. Facilitator Stephen Nurse. Back wheel mud and chocolate milk dribbles on white corflute.


A few times I've been up to Cobram to complete some of Rodney Cruz's Audax rides. The terrain is flat for many kilometres around. As well, the Murray tour rides I've been on have passed through Katatamatite in the area, so I know the area and rides reasonably well. So when Simon Watt posted that he was doing  one of the Cobram  rides, I booked up the time to go away and signed up on the Audax website and at the Motel where Simon and his mates were staying.  As well I rang my Dad's cousin Mary who lives just over the border in New South Wales and organised to visit her and her husband Geoff.

The South of the Murray ride was on a Saturday, and I drove up to Cobram on the Friday, checked in to the motel, then drove across the border to Barooga and a few k's out of town to visit Geoff and Mary. That trip went well, and by the time I was back in Cobram, Ian and Peter had arrived, and it was soon time for our booked pub dinner. That went well too, despite a lost (Corona-virus compulsory) booking which was soon sorted out.

Next day it was cold and clear, and about 17 of us gathered at Mivo Park, and Rodney read out the ride descriptions, a 100k ride going into NSW, a 106k staying in Victoria, and a 206k combining both. I was on the 106k ride, all I really wanted to cope with on a short Winter's day.

 After riding for a bit with Simon, Peter and Ian, I realised I was slowing so checked my front tyre and sure enough it was going down. On stopping to fix it a herd of cows gathered around me but by the time I'd finished most of them had ambled away as I was old news.

Everybody had passed me when my puncture was fixed. Simon texted me at Namurkah where he was lunching with Pete and Ian, but I passed on lunch and rode through, a bit concerned about the flat tyre fix and able to carry on with the food and drink I had onboard. And I was right about being worried, by Katamatite the tyre was down again. But I had a pump which could push air in to the tyre fairly quickly and I rode on, pumping up the front tyre every few k's but still managing to finish with 40 minutes to spare before the ride time limit. Now (Monday) I think I have finally fixed the tyre. By noting where the latest (3rd) puncture is, I managed to find and remove a tiny sliver of glass from the tyre.

Later on Saturday, I heard about increased Corona virus cases and lockdowns in Melbourne, and within 2 days, the escalating number of cases meant the border between New South Wales and Victoria was due to close. People like Mary and Geoff will be stuck over the border and unable to go to their nearby big town, Cobram, and some or all of Rodney's rides would have been cancelled.

Hopefully the whole Corona virus thing will be over soon but I don't think so!


Steve Nurse

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Fixing for Wecycle

Nice Australian designed Apollo with a few interesting parts,

Bartender bar grips and

Prowheel crank.

No cables on the downtube, this is all very neat.

Shortening the seatpost on this

Shogun Metro, the main feature of this bike was the

pentagonal wheel skewer and seatpost bolts.

I swapped out the old rusty steel handlebar for this one whch happened to be a Shogun as well.


A couple of bikes which have passed through my hands for Wecycle, and here are a few pics. I managed to remove the pentagonal allen key bolts on the Shogun, without the pentagonal allen key, not that hard if you apply your mind to it.

Both bikes repaired now, I will take the Shogun back to the Wecycle shed Wednesday.


Steve Nurse

Monday, June 15, 2020

Shimano CI Deck


I volunteer at a bicycle recycling centre, Wecycle, and came across a Shimano CI deck on a Mongoose the other day. It was on a bike that needed quite a bit of fixing and I had a bit of time to spare so I dragged it home with me, riding the recumbent with one hand and steering the Mongoose bike with the other.  So I did the fixing and even managed to get the CI deck working, however its missing one of the dial needles.

The deck is a questionable bit of kit I reckon!  It tells you what gear you are in, and puts the indicators for front and back gears together, and right in the middle of the handlebars where its easy to see them. But really, I think the whole thing is unnecessary, ride the bike for a few hours and you would probably have what gear you are in worked out. And look down and you can see the front gear anyway.

The bottom  2 photos show some alternatives to CI deck, which are basically "nothing". Firstly on my front wheel drive recumbent its very easy to see the front derailleur and what gear you are in. And the last picture shows another bike ready for a refurb but with shifters with gear markings on them, which you can also see quite easily.

See you out there on the road, but not with a CI deck!

Regards  Steve Nurse

Friday, June 5, 2020

Crate Collection in the Time of Hard Rubbish

Hard rubbish awaiting collection in Northcote, I got there
after a text from Simon.
Loaded up, ready to go home.

St. Georges road near Wecycle in Separation St.

Plucked up courage to ask for more crates, and Adam from Flower of Sorrento said ok, but I had to take four.

Backyard scene. I really shouldn't collect any more, but its possible there are worse addictions.

My wife Christine is away for a few days and so I'm a bit less fettered than I might otherwise be. Its been hard rubbish collection week in our neighbouring suburb and I have been scouring the streets on my bikes for useful stuff. As per my previous post I have been making crate adapters for bikes, so I have collected milk crates of a particular design during my travels.

Monday: A rotten cold rainy day, and I started it by driving to the dentist in Balwyn. Yes, I know, I am a thrill seeker, a risktaker, a person who lives on the edge. But as an antidote to the mundaneness of driving to the dentist, I managed to spot a crate for later collection, so I went and got it on the bike when I returned home. But I forgot to go to the bank on that bike trip, so headed out on a recumbent and managed to remember to go to the bank, and also scour some more and bring back another crate, a ceramic electric ketttle and a crap enamel teapot as per the pics below. (2 extra crates)

Wednesday: World bike day. Found 1 crate on the way to helping out at the Wecycle bike shed. Quite a good day at the shed, I repaired one bike that was one of several collected by Simon and Carlos from scrap or from appeals on the Darebin Good Karma Network. One bike was handed over to a customer, Mike was due to deliver 4 the next day and a few more customers are lined up. (1 extra crate)

Friday: During the day my Mum rang up and said my Dad was a bit crook, and that she'd ring me again at 5 in the afternoon. Simon texted me about lots! of crates on a street in Northcote, and I was prepared to go for a ride to think about things for a while.  Picked up 4 crates in Northcote, I've done this before on the same bike, and wasn't going to be greedy for more or phased by carrying them.

Then I dropped in on our local shop on the way home for milk and tomatoes and started having a chat to Adam who works there. He had just started a ciggie outside and needed to come inside (without ciggie) to serve me, and I was joking that he needed to design a ciggie preserver for when he had to come in and serve pesky customers like me.

So anyway we were chatting, so I asked him if I could take some of the milk crates he had round the side, and he said ok, and I got 4 extra, then stacked them on the bike!  I didn't ride home like that (all 100m distance or so) even though I was encouraged to do so (Call me a wooss, I don't care!).  I just walked it, and even then one crate fell off when it dragged on an overhead branch.  And then Mum rang when I got home 5ish, Dad was ok and had got out of bed so all was good again. Rather a large collection of crates though. (8 extra crates)

Bike repairs inside, I will test this one again tomorrow, its almost ready.

Other spoils, the larger pot is a plug in Speedie ceramic kettle.
Saturday: Simon had left me 2 crates for me at Wecycle, so I rode a bike that could carry them home up to the Wecycle shed for my volunteer session. It was Mike's birthday and he shouted lunch, and I got 2 bikes fixed, and a few interesting bikes came in, and there was lots of activity, and we even got rid of two bikes. One of the interesting bikes was Simon's bamboo bike as shown below with Mike, Steve, and a crate en route home. I didn't ride the bamboo bike though, my leg is still hurting from coming off my recumbent earlier in the week (2 extra crates).

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

3d printed bike taillights

Modern-day ad for Peugeot 404 wagon Circa 1967 featuring taillights
Prior experience! 3d printed light mount for my fred bikes recumbent

Busted Tailllight from Peugeot NS22 bike
Some cleaning so existing parts can be traced and measured and replacements made
New Taillight base and old lens / reflector (top) , and raft / support material from 3d print (below)
Finished assembly.
Next Project!  Below are some different Peugeot bike taillights with good bases and reflectors but lacking lens covers.......
or be a heathen and just use this one from the shed!  Its only a reflector, not a taillight lens but seems to look and fit ok on the bikes.

In the 1980's my brother Richard was a motor mechanic and collected or rather shuffled through a series of Peugeot 404 cars including the rare but hugely practical 404 wagon.  And I remember, the taillights were always a problem with these cars. They broke or cracked, but needed to be intact for roadworthy certificates, and were hard to find secondhand and hideously expensive when bought new from France.

So now decades later, I am facing my own Peugeot taillight dilemma, or rather just working with the lights in restoring some old NS22 Peugeot bikes (no roadworthy required!).  From Edithvale a few weeks ago, I purchased some old bikes and am in the process of doing up the white one. Both taillight bases were shot, and only one taillight lens was intact.

The pics above show the result of my Solidworks and 3d printing skills, designing and making a new base for the taillight. I have more busted taillights for the NS22's in a different style and might have a go at printing new lamp covers for them.  I'm pleased and encouraged with the results sofar

Regards  Steve Nurse

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Bennett Street Crossing


Part of the Capital City Trail bikepath runs just near us and there have been works going on and blockages in recent weeks when its been in high demand. Roadworks are mostly over now and it all seems worth it. At Bennett St, cars must now give way to cyclists and walkers, and I didn't have to wait long to take these pictures,  lots of dogs, kids, cyclists taking advantage of the new arrangements. A few years ago, Monash university academic Marilyn Johnson wrote about this sort of "reversed priority" intersection, here is the link.

I took Yarraville Orange out for the photo shoot, couldn't help but take the last picture of the bike camouflaged amongst the traffic bollards which are waiting to be picked up.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Monday, May 4, 2020

NC Routed Adapters

Sheets of NC routed plywood at Sean and Horn resulted in..
this new crate adapter.
The bike whose frame I straightened here is taking shape, I have replaced the generator lights front and back with battery lights,
And here it is with the new crate adapters fitted and in portrait mode, the back adapter acts as a stand.
New additions to the stable which (of course) need fixing, are this one, a
"FU 22/5", or "Edithvale FU" after the suburb I got it from (another one is mentioned here, and they say "Perhaps FU stands for Fold-Up, 22/5 being 22 inch wheels, 5 speed. I have not seen that before. I have heard people say "F You" meaning something else". Never a truer word was spoken)
And this one, Edithvale Vale Blue with a paint job I really like!
Some rusty tools and a mouldy old saddle bag came with Edithvale blue
Rear lighting wiring I've never seen before on Edithvale blue. Other bikes have had the wiring tucked into the folded edge of the mudguard.

Non-original Shimano derailleur on Edithvale Blue

Rust parts soaking in vinegar and water. This is more a test of the process than actually needing the parts restored.
Pics say it all, some of my work of the last few days

regards  Steve Nurse